Atavus: Improving Performance and Safety in Football with Advanced Tackling Methods
Karen Bryant, CEOFootball is a contact sport where collisions are fundamental to the game. Use of the head when tackling can lead to injury and has been linked to short-term and long-term affects in players at the high school, college, and professional levels of football. Atavus, the leading authority on tackle performance, analysis, and coaching technique, understands the significance of performance in football and teaches shoulder-led technique that removes the head from the tackle. The company educates coaches in their technique, helping train players to improved performance, increased confidence, and improved safety in the game. “We are proud of the fact that we have developed a tackling system that addresses both risk management and safety concerns while also teaching a much more dominant style of tackling,” says Karen Bryant, CEO of Atavus.
To evaluate the effectiveness of their technique, the company developed Tacklytics™, a platform used by football programs at every level of the game to analyze player performance. After a game, Atavus’ clients load game film into Tacklytics. The platform uses algorithms to ingest performance data, and Atavus’ analysts evaluate every tackle on 88 points of data. In a matter of hours, Atavus delivers results back to the client including reports by team, position group, and player, as well as coaching insights that can be applied to the next week’s practice plan. Additionally, the platform allows coaches to compare the performance of a player by game, throughout a season, current year to last year, current game to a game couple of weeks ago.
In addition to Tacklytics, Atavus offers coach education through the Digital Tackling Academy, a learning management system focused on improving tackling performance and safety. Coaches can access a range of resources such as drill videos and practice plans, and even become certified in Atavus technique. Coaches can take information from the Digital Tackling Academy directly onto the field thanks to graphics and diagram-rich drill sheets designed to make implementing the Atavus Tackle System as easy as possible.
We are proud of the fact that we have developed a tackling system that addresses both risk management and safety concerns while also teaching a much more dominant style of tackling
All the tools have been designed over the years after talking to hundreds of coaches. The company is composed of former NFL and college football players, data scientists, championship football coaches, and executives with decades of experience.
The depth and the breadth of tackling education and curriculum alone make Atavus second to none in the marketplace. While many companies address football’s safety issues by manufacturing equipment such as football helmets, Atavus is focused on preventing head injuries via behavior change. Constant feedback and game analytics assist coaches in removing the head from the tackle, an approach unique to Atavus.
The success of Atavus’ clients is helping shift the conversation toward shoulder-led technique. For example, Rockwall high school in Texas has been using Atavus for three years, and during that time has seen a 33.8 percent drop in missed tackles while experiencing zero tackling-related concussions. At the college level, Michigan State University started using Atavus in 2016 when they were ranked 83rd nationally in defensive efficiency. By 2017 they were 17th, and improved even further and finished 3rd in 2018.